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India PM Narendra Modi wins another term in landslide victory

By Clyde Hughes
Narendra Modi will serve another five-year term as Indian prime minister. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/ababfea998b5f8b875adf906f347e76b/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Narendra Modi will serve another five-year term as Indian prime minister. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

May 23 (UPI) -- Narendra Modi has won another five-year term as India's prime minister after election results showed a landslide victory Thursday.

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party built an insurmountable lead in the ballot count after the weeks-long Lok Sabha chamber elections. The BJP's National Democratic Alliance led in 346 seats, well ahead of the 272 needed to govern without building a coalition.

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Modi's opponent, Rahul Gandhi, conceded defeat Thursday.

"Thank you India," Modi said on Twitter Thursday. "The faith placed in our alliance is humbling and gives us strength to work even harder to fulfill people's aspirations. I salute every BJP Karyakarta for their determination, perseverance & hard work. They went home to home, elaborating on our development agenda."

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Indian National Congress leader Gandhi, who'd hoped to replace Modi as prime minister, could lose his seat in the Lok Sabha as he trails challenger Smriti Irani.

Voting ended Sunday after 67 percent of 900 million voters cast ballots. Exit polls leaned toward Modi but early vote counts have given him a clear lead.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping was among the first of the world leaders to congratulate Modi. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory telegram and Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu followed with a tweet. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke to Modi by phone.

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"The United States looks forward to working closely with our strategic partner India in the years to come," said Ken Juster, U.S. ambassador to India.

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